Centro Legal Works is a premier provider of document authentication and legalization services.
The process of authentication and definition is twofold. Authentication is the procedure of verifying the authenticity of the signature and seal on the document against the information on file for the Notary Public or Commissioner for taking affidavits. Once a document has been authenticated, it is presented to the relevant foreign country’s Consulate, or Embassy office for legalization.
That’s a simple overview for what can be a complex, time-consuming process, and many of our clients simply don’t have the time or resources to spend dealing with government, Consulate and Embassy offices. At Centro Legal Works, we look after the details so that you don’t have to.
Two requirements need to be fulfilled in order to ensure that your document(s) will be acceptable in another country, authentication and legalization. Depending on whether the destination country has a Consulate office in Toronto, or an Embassy in Ottawa will dictate where the document is to be authenticated. The Official Document Services (ODS) in Toronto authenticates documents to be submitted to Toronto Consulates and the Global Affairs in Ottawa authenticates documents submitted to Embassy offices. Once the location of the country’s Consulate or Embassy office is established, you are ready to complete the first step, Authentication.
The Official Document Services (ODS) authentication process involves comparing the signature and seal or stamp of the Notary or Commissioner to taking affidavits, to what is on file.
Authentication will only be granted if:
- All parts of the signature, seal and/or stamp of the Notary Public of Commissioner for taking affidavits are original, complete and clearly displayed on the same page of the document.
- The Notary Public or Commissioner is on file with the ODS
- The name, seal and/or stamp is identical to what is on file with the ODS
Once these pieces of information are confirmed the Official Document Services (ODS) office will issue a Certificate of Authentication and attach it by a rivet to the front of the document. The fee is $16 per authenticated document.
Important Note: If the Notary or Commissioner is not on file with the ODS office, they are required to complete a one page application and provide a sample specimen of their seal or stamp. Click to download the application. There is no fee for this application.
Similarly the Global Affairs in Ottawa will confirm the same information outlined above and apply a stamp with a signature to the Notarial page of the document. They do not attach a certificate and they do not charge a fee. Centro ‘Authentication’ service fees do apply.
Centro Legal Works Inc. does not provide Notary services.
TORONTO – Official Document Services Office
222 Jarvis Street, Main Floor Toronto, Ontario M7A 0B6
OTTAWA – Global Affairs
125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
IMPORTANT: The ODS and the Global Affairs do not authenticate or validate the contents of the documents.
The second step in the process is Legalization and it can only be completed once the document has been authenticated. Consulate and Embassy offices charge a fee for legalization and the processing times vary between the different Consulate and Embassy offices. Depending on the office, payment will be required in one of the following forms: Canadian funds, U.S. funds, money orders, bank drafts and Credit Cards. Some Consulate’s and Embassies may also require a photocopy of the documents for their own records. The requirements, fees and processing times frequently change, and Centro Legal Works can help streamline the process.
Consulate and Embassy Fees
Each Consulate and Embassy sets their own fees, that can range anywhere from nothing to over $1,000. The payment format is up to the particular office and payment forms can be any of the following: bank draft, money order, credit card, U.S. dollars, CDN dollars, or Euros. The fees are also subject to change, so if you are using Centro we will let you know what to expect in the way of forms of payment and the amounts. If you would like us to obtain a bank draft, money order, or appropriate currency, a banking administration fee of $30 will apply.
Once you have your documents in order and they have been notarized, you simply need to get in touch with us at Centro Legal Works to begin the authentication and legalization of your documents. You can email us the particulars (at [email protected]) to request a quote, or click hereand we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. Be sure to identify the type of documents, the number of documents and the destination country of which they are to be used. You can also reach us by phone toll-free at 1.877.239.6616.
Ship Your Documents
We recommend using a courier service for shipping the documents to our office. You will require two envelopes – one to ship the documents to our office, and one to ship the documents back to you. Be sure that you have included any additional documentation, consents or otherwise required by the Consulate or Embassy office. This will help avoid unnecessary delays in processing.
Confirm the Shipment
We ask that you let us know when you have shipped your documents so we can track the package and begin working for you as quickly as possible. You can do this by contacting us by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1.877.239.6616. *Pick-ups can be arranged for clients located in the immediate downtown core. Additional fees may apply, please inquire.
We’ll be in touch with you throughout the process, so you can get your documents authenticated and legalized without having to deal with lineups, government red tape or other problems. You can rely on Centro Legal Works to look after your needs competently and quickly.